Osemele tabbed as first-team All-American

Zach Gourley

Phil Steele’s 2011 College Football Preview has tabbed ISU offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele as a pre-season first-team All-American and a first-team All-Big 12 player. Osemele, a 6-6, 354-pound red-shirt senior and co-captain of the Cyclones’ 2011 squad, has started 30 straight games as an anchor of Paul Rhoads’ offensive line.

Osemele has also been projected by Fox Sports’ Peter Shrager and multiple other NFL Draft prognosticators to be a first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post had the following scouting report on Osemele’s abilities:

“Osemele is going to be a prospect that scouts and NFL teams love. He possesses great size and good athletic ability. His potential is through the roof, which is what could facilitate a major jump up draft boards. He is a powerful player with the ability to pass protect and run block. His lower half allows him to anchor after contact and avoid being pushed into the pocket. Osemele has quick enough feet to reach the edge against most rushers. However, he doesn’t have the elite foot speed, which will likely mean a move to right tackle or guard. As a run blocker, Osemele possesses the ideal size, strength, and explosion. There are not many players with his combination of size and athletic ability.”

Cyclone cornerback Leonard Johnson was named to the second-team preseason All-Big 12 team, the same honors he garnered last year. The 5 foot-10-inch, 196-pound Johnson has five career interceptions to go with 18 pass break-ups and 175 career tackles.

Joining Johnson on the second-team All-Big 12 squad is Cyclone linebacker Jake Knott, who was also on the second-team All-Big 12 last season.

The Waukee native averaged 10.8 tackles per game last season, the second highest amount in the Big 12 conference. Knott also snagged four interceptions, caused four fumbles and made 130 tackles last season.

A.J. Klein, one of Knott’s fellow Cyclone linebackers, was placed on the third-team All-Big 12 squad after averaging 9.25 tackles per game, the fifth most of any player in the Big 12.

Two other Cyclones were also named to the third-team All-Big 12 unit: punter Kirby Van Der Kamp and punt returner Josh Lentz.

Van Der Kamp, a West Des Moines native, averaged 45.2 yards per punt last season, second-best in school history for a single season.

Defensive lineman Stephen Ruempolhamer was named to the fourth team All-Big 12 unit after making 33 tackles and six sacks last season.

Cyclone speedster Shontrelle Johnson was also placed on the fourth-team All-Big 12 unit as a kick returner after averaging 23.4 yards per return on 25 attempts in 2010.